Hello lovelies! I've realized that I have not given you a sneak peek at my currently-reading list and my to-be-read list. I'm notorious for having several books going at once, and now is no different. I find myself tasting and sifting through potential reads, trying to find the one that feels right for that moment. Any one else do this? It can't be just me who has this ridiculous, most often overwhelming, reading habit. If you share this habit, I would love to talk about different ways you deal with it. When it gets out of control for me, I tend to take a step back from the books I'm juggling, determine which is the shortest, then trudge on from there. Getting at least the smallest one in the pile out of the way helps get me out of my funk a bit.
So without further ado, here are my lists...
I've always loved her books, ever since I read Lord of the Fading Lands early on in high school. He first series, Tairen Soul, has been a favorite of mine since the start. The worlds she creates are dynamic, intense, and fantastical, and the characters are unforgettable and emotional. The Sea King, coming out October 31st, 2017, is meeting all of my expectations and beyond. I would even go so far as to say it is the most fun book she has published--the silliness, the camaraderie, the love and banter, and I cannot forget the pranks and puns! It is a great contrast to The Winter King, which was full of sadness and the effects of long-term parental abuse. (Don't worry! The Winter King was not all doom and gloom, and the protagonist had her happy ending. Matter of fact, you see that happy ending in The Sea King!)
I received an e-ARC by becoming a member of C.L. Wilson's Street Team in preparation of The Sea King's release later this year. To spread my love of her books to those who have not heard of C.L. Wilson or read any of her work, I am more than happy to spend my free time sharing my excitement for its release and for the existence of her already published books. I've already pre-ordered my copy, and I own all the others!
If you would like to pre-order it as well, visit the following links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Book Depository.
If you would like to order her already published books, visit these links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Book Depository, and the Tairen's Lair (C.L. Wilson's online shop; a few weeks after its release, The Sea King will also be available for purchase here--The Sea King is not up for pre-order there).
And lastly, if you order any of C.L. Wilson's books or gifts from the Tairen's Lair:
- I have a 10% OFF DISCOUNT CODE for one Tairen's Lair purchase per person: TL021 (note that is a zero)
- If you would like C.L. to inscribe a book with your name and her signature, Tairen's Lair is where you want to go. There is an option to enter an inscription for C.L. to sign when you select a book.
Now this book is disturbing, but it is intended to twist your gut. I have read that it is akin to The Handmaid's Tale, which I haven't yet read. If social media reactions to The Handmaid's Tale and its recent show are any indication, I would say that the disgust and discomfort you feel while reading/watching is quite similar to the stomach lurches I've experienced while reading about girls, as young as ten years old, experiencing their first menstruation and coerced into sex, marriage, pregnancy, and giving birth. Mere children, mind you. But despite the disturbing world Melamed has created, the writing is fantastic--the imagery, the language, the characters. I love her style. It is refreshing, concise, painting that world inside your mind one detail at a time. I'm about a third of the way through, and despite my inability to read more than thirty pages at a time (my stomach can't take any more than that), I intend to finish this book within the next week.
This is an ARC I received from a friend who did not intend to read it. Gather the Daughters comes out this upcoming Tuesday, July 25th, 2017. If you are interested in ordering it, click on the following links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Book Depository.
I have had an e-ARC of this YA fantasy novel for a while now. I received it after submitting a request on NetGalley, and I was flustered with excitement when that approval email hit my inbox. Unfortunately and reluctantly, I admit to that excitement waning rather quickly...
"Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first book in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action." With that kind of introduction on all retailers and on Goodreads, I was invested at the start. However, there are multiple aspects of the book that have me stuck at the halfway mark. (I do plan to finish reading this, I swear. I'm just really working on getting through it, and it stinks feeling like I have to force myself.)
It is difficult to read because:
- Sal (the protagonist) seems to know and anticipate everything, which isn't fun and exciting. There is explanation for all their actions before they occur, and explanation for this and that and the next thing--all these explanations disrupt the story's flow. It is also hard to enjoy reading about a know-it-all character, because that personality type becomes annoying and far from endearing. I wonder if the author was trying to emulate a Sherlock-esque character, but it is hard to be certain.
- There is a competition happening in the story, and Sal is one of the participants. To maintain anonymity, each competitor is assigned a number and given a cloth mask to wear, and the competitors are to be referred to by their numbers. This aspect makes perfect sense to the story and what is occurring, but it is incredibly difficult to keep track of everyone who isn't Sal. I have found myself frustrated, returning to previous pages to track down moments explaining who was what number and what Sal thought of that individual. This is probably the biggest reason I put the book down and haven't moved past halfway. I can't get into a story if said story is hard to follow, and boy am I having difficulties over here. I think the story would have benefited from Sal assigning each competitor a nickname based on what they could surmise about their backgrounds--at least then I would have had something my mind could hold onto, because the numbers don't stick.
While I've had trouble reading it, there are aspects that I do enjoy. I love the gender fluid nature of Sal. Hence, if you didn't notice in the negatives above, why I referred to Sal as "they" and "them." I honestly have no clue what reproductive parts Sal was born with and I don't care--the inclusion of the gender fluidity is natural, fitting, and doesn't hinder the story. Sal is who they are, and I like how that part of them is portrayed. I have also loved the character development of Sal and the woman assigned to serve them during the competition. They have an interesting relationship, both tenuous and firm, and they are clear from the beginning what will be done for the other as long as they get through this competition alive.
If you are interested in pre-ordering Mask of Shadows (out August 29th, 2017), click on the following links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Book Depository.
I've put this book on hold for now, because I hadn't been connecting with it. I can't quite put my finger on if it was me or the book making it not work, but I honestly think it might be me. I love fantasy, I love YA, and I especially love YA fantasy, but I think I've become burnt out when it comes to strong young women taking on epic quests in fantastical lands with monstrous creatures and repercussions. YA fantasy is rampant with this standard right now, and I am over it at this time. It's my own fault, choosing to read a lot of the same type of books back-to-back-to-back. I need a break for a little while.
I will be returning to Secret of Souls, but not within the next month or two. I would like to get through my to-be-read pile and maybe get away from YA for a bit.
If you would like to read more about Secret of Souls or pre-order it (released November 24th, 2017), check out the following links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Book Depository.
I did receive an e-ARC of this book from the author, which is another reason I will revisit it and read it in its entirety. I promised an honest review in return for a chance to read it in advance, and I will fulfill that promise.
My (never-ending) to-be-read pile:
- Wendy Walker's Emma in the Night (friend sent me the ARC)
- Aditi Khorana's Library of Fates
- B. Kristin McMichael's Carnelian (Goodreads giveaway)
- Meagan Spooner's Hunted (birthday loot)
- Lexa Hillyer's Spindle Fire (birthday loot)
- Audrey Coulthurt's Of Fire and Stars (birthday loot)
- Joelle Charbonneau's Dividing Eden (June Fantasy Kingdoms Bookish Box)
- Eva Ibbotson's The Morning Gift
- Donna Grant's Dragon King: A Dark Kings Novella
- Kate Elliott's Buried Heart (coming this Tuesday, July 25th, 2017)
- Francine Rivers's Bridge to Haven
- Leigh Bardugo's Wonder Woman: Warbringer (ARC from a friend, arriving any day!)
- And many others, because I have a lot of books...
- updates about C.L. Wilson's The Sea King, especially whenever anything new comes up
- a reveal of my June Fantasy Kingdoms Bookish Box goodies (a little behind on this, whoops)
- details from my birthday fun at the Green Valley Book Fair last Saturday and the loot I took home (also late on this as well, sigh)
- fangirling on Book Tours for various authors (Leigh Bardugo and Sarah J. Maas, for instance)--I'll be getting information about their different stops out to you, if you didn't already know it!
- a list of the bookish events I plan to attend over the next nine months or so
Happy reading and writing, bitchin' readers! Until next time!